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Baseline to Baseline recaps: Don’t fear the Heat

Jan 28, 2011, 2:26 AM EDT

Miami Heat v New York Knicks Getty Images

What you missed while getting ready for the Angry Birds television series….

Knicks 93, Heat 88: It seems weird to say this, but the Knicks won this with defense. They clearly came in with a plan to focus on LeBron James, not let him beat them. He finished with 24 points but on 7-of-24 shooting.

NBA teams can usually take away one option of the opposition when they focus on it. The problem for the Heat is that without Chris Bosh serving as a hub for their offense, working things inside-out, the sets have become listless. There was far too much isolation, not enough ball movement. And not enough transition, which is foolish considering the Heat had gone with small ball. Dwyane Wade adjusted better with 34 points on 22 shots.

The Knicks were struggling plenty as well — they shot 36 percent for the contest — but in the fourth quarter their threes started falling, including a shot by Landry Fields to seal the victory. Under pressure the Knicks adjusted to the sloppy game better.

The energy at MSG for games like this is unmatched. Can’t wait to see playoff games there.

Mavericks 111, Rockets 106: Exactly what you expect from Dallas — Tyson Chandler leading the way with 21 and seven guys in double digits.

This looked like a cakewalk with Dallas up 18 after one and 22 early in the third. Then the Rockets came back on a huge run to make a game of it. Luis Scola played like it was a FIBA game and dropped 30. Then just like it was against the Clippers a couple nights ago, it was J.J. Barea that changed things with his energy off the bench. Barea had 10 in the fourth quarter and Dallas held off the Rockets.

Boston 88, Portland 78: The Trail Blazers are really struggling to score and this would have been a blowout had it not been for the 19 Celtics turnovers. With the injuries the Blazers just can’t score enough, especially with a Celtics defense that made it a rough night for LaMarcus Aldridge. Portland shot just 37 percent overall and 25 percent from three.

  1. celebritybodyguards - Jan 28, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    The Miami Heat will fail in the post season mainly due to a lack of depth and size. Any time your team is forced to play it’s stars 40+ minutes per game and count on 3 guys for 80% of it’s scoring and rebounding, the injuries will add up and hurt them over the 2nd half of the season and without home court advantage vs. a deep team with massive size up front such as Boston, they will never get past them in a grueling best of 7 series.

    It would be hard to imagine Miami beating a healthy Bulls squad or a versatile Orlando team that has a lot of playoff experience as well. LeBron couldn’t do it under the pressure of being “THE guy” in Cleveland. He won’t be able to conquer a team of veterans with 5 years together and 2 recent trips to the Finals including a championship like the Celtics, even with being reduced to the side-kick to D. Wade and having a guy like Bosh that has zero playoff success on his resume.

    The Heat needs another year together and to get 3 more mid-level guys including a starting “big man” and bench depth to stand a chance NEXT season at a title run.

    They are an 8 to 5 favorite here in Las Vegas to win the championship. Which is how they make money here in Sin City… on the ignorance of “fans” and those that don’t understand the sports on which they gamble.

    The “smart” money would be on another Lakers-Celtics finals if L.A. can overcome NOT having home court vs. the Spurs in the Western Conference finals.

    If the Lakers get their full roster healthy by April, it will be hard for any team to beat them in a 7 game series with Kobe knowing how to close out a game better than any active player in the NBA.

    Lakers will 3-peat. Kobe will get ring #6 to match M.J. and Phil will ride off into the sunset with a 4 pack of 3-peats and 12 rings.

    • hnirobert3 - Jan 28, 2011 at 9:35 AM

      MJ never rode some like Shaq’s coattails to three championships. Please stop trying to make that comparison. He was Alpha and Omega on all 6 Championship runs, and he would have never had the type of game that Kobe had in game 7 last year.

      • hnirobert3 - Jan 28, 2011 at 9:36 AM

        *someone

      • celebritybodyguards - Jan 28, 2011 at 10:54 PM

        23 points, 15 rebounds. That was Kobe’s game 7 last year. You said, “Jordan never had a game like that in the finals?” Kobe was defending Ray Allen and Rondo and even Pierce in that game. Michael Jordan shot 6 of 19 and had the same 23 points in the 1996 finals in a close-out game. He did get 11 points at the free throw line and only 3 rebounds with 4 turnovers. Also, in 97′ Jordan had 22 points on 11 of 27 shooting vs Utah. Yeah, he had to guard the amazing Jeff Hornacek. Tough match up against a “hall of famer” lol

        So, while I’m not even a Kobe fan, you surely seem to be drinking the M.J. Kool-Aid. “Alpha & Omega?” As in first & last scoring option maybe. Do you think Jordan wins 6 titles with a different head coach and no Pippen?

        NOBODY does it “all” on their own. Even MJ himself said he couldn’t have won without Phil & Scottie.

  2. hnirobert3 - Jan 28, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    At some point Spoelstra needs to put 2 and 2 together and say, “Hey, LeBron’s not liking or feeling comfortable with the post game yet, maybe we should move to something else.” I think LBJ will eventually develop a post game but to continue going to it in the 2nd half allowed the Knicks to get back in the game.

  3. savocabol1 - Jan 28, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    Just like when he was on the Cavs, Lebron brings a certain lethargic offensive game to the table. Sure the highlights you see are anything but that, but try watching an entire game. The offense is Lebron holding the ball for 18 secs then some sort of play developing. Take away Lebron every game and the Heat are not a top five team.

  4. pff - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    heat will be fine in the playoffs – will try out many things during the season to see what works best against the various scenarios they will see. just get healthy right now.

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